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Designing the Perfect Private Sanctuary

Create your own little world on the beach.

We’re a country obsessed with privacy—or a lack of it. But that doesn’t mean you have to shut yourself in a bunker whenever you go on vacation.

On Seal Rocks Beach in New South Wales, architects designed this 4,300-square-foot family getaway to create a private, inner courtyard. It won’t shield you from NSA drones, but it will afford you relief from neighbor’s prying eyes.

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The home’s open entrance is shaded. Leave your surfboard and wetsuit here before settling into one of the many hammocks. There’s a living area, shower, and bathroom tucked under the eave, while a big bunkroom, two bedrooms, and the entryway make up one long side of the rectangle. There’s also a galley kitchen across from the bath. Minimal exterior windows shutter the house completely from the outside.

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This cabin is nearly 100 percent self-sufficient, with solar panels, rainwater catchment, and a composting worm farm to treat sewage. Basic materials and construction techniques were used to reduce cost, prevent corrosion, and take advantage of local resources.  

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A sanctuary like this isn't inexpensive: the New South Wales cottage cost $300,000 to build. You’ll have to decide for yourself whether your privacy is worth it.  

Filed To: EuropeCamping